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Sports

Germany choose resort in northern Qatar as FIFA World Cup camp


Four-time champions Germany will be based in a new resort in northern Qatar for the Nov. 21 to Dec. 18 FIFA World Cup, the nation’s football association DFB said on Wednesday.

The DFB said Hansi Flick and his players will be staying in a separate area of the Zulal Wellness Resort in Al-Ruwais on the northern coast of the country, an hour’s drive from the capital of Doha.

The team will arrive on Nov. 17 and train at the nearby facilities of first-division club Al-Shamal, the DFB said.

Germany face Spain, Japan and the winners of a play-off between New Zealand and Costa Rica in the group stage.

“We have everything we need in Al-Ruwais —- we are only a short drive from Al Shamal’s training ground.

“The fantastic conditions there will allow us to focus and to train intensively, and there is a wonderfully-relaxed environment at the hotel.

“Those are the most important things for me as head coach,” Flick said.

DFB director Oliver Bierhoff said: “We want to create the best possible conditions for our team to have a successful tournament.

“This facility meets almost all of our requirements for a team hotel.

“It offers the team the opportunity to switch off from the hustle and bustle of playing at a World Cup.

“At this resort, we can concentrate on the task in hand, work in a focused manner and recuperate well. Team spirit plays a crucial role at a World Cup.

“We want to create a camaraderie that can help us go deep in the tournament.”

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Politics

PDP’s presidential aspirant, Gov. Bala Mohammed says he believes in zoning


A presidential aspirant on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State says he will abide by the party’s decision on zoning its presidential ticket.

Addressing newsmen after meeting with Niger PDP delegates in Minna on Monday, Mohammed said political offices zoning is in the party’s Constitution.

He said it was designed to ensure equity and justice and to devolve power between the federating entities.

“We believe in the supremacy of the party and zoning can only reinforce us if done by the party. We will accept wherever it is zoned to.

“I don’t have a problem with zoning and I don’t see it as a problem.

“It’s a formula brought to bring devolution of power between the federating entities. It is the only way and means to ensure equity and justice,’’ he said.

Mohammed said his visit to Niger was to sell his candidature to party elders and to Nigerians, stressing that he would abide by whatever decision the party came up with.

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News

Updated: ASUU strike extended by 12 weeks


The Academic Staff Union of Universities has rolled over its ongoing strike for another 12 weeks.

A statement signed by ASUU president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said this was to give the government enough time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues.

It also stated that the roll-over strike was effective from 12.01 am, May 9, 2021.

ASUU said it took this decision after its National Executive Council meeting which started on Sunday night at the Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja.

The statement read, “After extensive deliberations, noting Government’s failure to live up to its responsibilities and speedily address all the issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) within the additional eight-week roll–over strike period declared on 14th March 2022, NEC resolved that the strike be rolled over for twelve weeks to give Government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues.

“The roll-over strike action is with effect from 12.01 a.m. on Monday, 9th May 2022.”

The press release titled, ‘Update on ASUU roll-over strike,’ read, “The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) held an emergency meeting on Sunday, 8th May 2022 at the Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja, Abuja.

“The meeting was called to review developments since the Union declared an eight-week total and comprehensive roll-over strike action at the end of its emergency NEC meeting at the Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja, Abuja on 14th March, 2022. The strike action came on the heels of the Government’s failure to satisfactorily implement the Memorandum of Action (MoA) it signed with the Union in December 2020 on renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), funding for revitalization of public universities (both Federal and States), proliferation and governance issues in State Universities, promotion arrears, withheld salaries (owed for over 20 months in some cases), and Non-emittance of third-party deductions.”

It added that NEC noted with serious disappointment that the three-man Committee set up by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 1st February 2022 to resolve the lingering issues between ASUU and FGN had not called a single meeting to date.

“NEC was equally disappointed that ASUU’s only meeting with the Professor Nimi Briggs-led Renegotiation Committee did not reflect the expected level of understanding, preparation and clarity that undergird collective bargaining going by the Committee’s confession of “going about consulting stakeholders”. Unless urgent steps are taken to redirect the Committee on concluding a draft Agreement that has been pending since May 2021, its activities may end up as another wild goose chase,” it read.

ASUU NEC also condemned Federal Government’s cavalier attitude towards the strike action in the last twelve weeks, saying the government’s resort to the use of starvation as a weapon for breaking the collective resolve of ASUU members and undermine our patriotic struggle to reposition public universities in Nigeria was ill-advised and may prove counterproductive.

The statement said, “NEC was shocked that public universities have remained closed for about three months while members of the political class were busy purchasing expression of interest and nomination forms worth several millions of Naira in preparations for 2023 elections! Those in power turned their back on our degraded universities as they shuttle between Europe and America to celebrate the graduation of their children and wards from world class universities. This speaks volumes on the level of depravity, insensitivity, and irresponsibility of Nigeria’s opportunistic and parasitic political class.

“The result of the criminal neglect of education and gross mismanagement of the nation’s patrimony is evident in the collapse of the security architecture of our nation. Insecurity is getting worse by the day and spreading like the harmattan inferno in hitherto peaceful and secured parts of Nigeria, including university campuses. ASUU warns, once more, that unless something drastic is done to reverse these ugly trends, the country may be headed for a state of anarchy.

“NEC condemned the provocative statements of some government functionaries and salutes the Nigerian Labour Congress, patriotic students’ groups and civil society organisations who have taken steps towards resolving the current labour dispute with the Nigeria government.

“NEC found the planned overseas trip organised by the Committee of Vice-Chancellors of Nigerian Universities’ Spouses (CVCNUS) despicable and condemnable. The advertised five-day conference in Istanbul is a waste of scarce resources of our universities; it is insensitive and provocative, particularly at a time like this when lecturers are denied their salaries for daring to struggle to improve the lot of our public universities.”

Last Friday, it was reported that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, during a meeting with the striking National Association of Academic Technologists promised to meet with ASUU this week.

However, Osodeke told our correspondent, that the union had yet to receive any notice of meeting from any Federal Government ministry.

Some of ASUU’s demands include the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the UTAS payment platform for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.

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Politics

PDP fixes May 9 for North West Zonal Congress


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has fixed May 9 for the conduct of the party’s North West Zonal Congress to elect Zonal Executive Officers and National Ex-Officio members of the party in the North West Zone.

The party announced this in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Debo Ologunagba, in Abuja on Saturday night.

Ologunagba said that the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party approved the conduct of the congress at the Zonal Headquarters of the party in Kaduna, Kaduna State.

“The NWC requests all leaders, critical stakeholders and teeming members of our party in the North-West to be guided accordingly for a smooth and hitch-free exercise.

“The exercise will be conducted in line with the Constitution and Guidelines of our great party, and in adherence to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) Protocol on COVID-19,” he said.

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News

JAMB tasks officials on guidelines as 2022 UTME begins nationwide


The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) on Friday tasked its officials to adhere strictly to its guidelines as the 2022 exercise begins for over 1.7 million candidates nationwide.

The board gave the directive in its Weekly Bulletin of the Office of the Registrar in Abuja.

It stated that biometric verification would be the only mode for admittance of candidates into the examination centre.

The board said strict adherence to this directive was required by all involved.

JAMB had reiterated that all candidates would be checked into the examination hall, using the Biometric Verification Machine (BVM) which would also serve as a register of attendance, in line with its policy.

It urged officials to ensure no candidate was kept waiting if he or she could not be verified, but to ensure such candidate was recaptured at the centre before leaving.

The board further stated that only genuine cases would be subsequently treated in cases of biometric hitch.

JAMB also urged its officials to ensure that all report forms provided for the exercise were accurately filled and completed.

It explained that the information gathered from the forms was expected to assist the board in “establishing happenings during the examination for reference purposes as well as serve as evidence for punitive measures.”

The board said it would continue to consult with critical stakeholders, including technical officers and Advisors, Resident Monitors, Supervisors and its eight monitoring groups, to deliver a hitch-free exercise.

NAN reports that the board’s exercise had since been scheduled to begin from Friday to May 16 in its 757 centres nationwide.

JAMB had also warned its candidates that the ban on prohibited items was still in force and necessary sanctions would be meted out to violators of its code of conduct.

“The list of the banned items within the examination hall include but not limited to flash drives, smart watches, calculators, recorders, mobile phones, spy reading glasses, jewelleries, among others,” JAMB said.

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News

All will be well with Nigeria – Obasanjo


Former President Olusegun Obasanjo has expressed optimism that whatever the situation and condition is, all will be well with Nigeria.

Obasanjo, who said this at a Global Crusade organised by the Deeper Life Bible Church, in Abeokuta and monitored online on Tuesday, urged Nigerians to have faith in God.

The former President said that considering the situation of things, Nigeria and the entire world required God’s visitation, urging all children of God to seek His face for visitation.

“If you consider what is going on in our cities, our states, our country, our region of West Africa, our continent and indeed our globe, our world required crusade of this nature.

“Some people accused us, Christians of `religioucity’ without spirituality. Yes that has been the position of the world even in the time of Jesus Christ, but should we lose hope? No.

“There is no time in the world that things have been bad that it is not the children of God that stood out,” he said.

He said that Noah stood out in his time and also Job, who God described as a man who feared God and shun evil and a man of great integrity.

“Nigeria needs such men of integrity at this present moment.

“I believe that because of this kind of men and women of such virtue in Nigeria, God will open his eyes and have mercy on this country.

“Unless those who don’t want to be honest with themselves will say that all is well, but if we trust in God and believe in Jesus Christ all will be well.

“Children of God, whatever may be our situation, whatever may be the condition, let us have faith in God, and all will be well,” Obasanjo said.

The General Overseer of the Church, Pastor Williams Kumuyi, who had earlier paid a visit to the former president, prayed God to grant him many more years to contribute to the progress of the country.

Kumuyi stated that his visit was to show respect to Obasanjo and to also invite him to the crusade where he could share his words of wisdom with the people and the global community.

The general overseer, in his message, said that God had prepared complete dominion over circumstances of the world through Jesus Christ.

Kumuyi said that the only way to have complete dominion over problem and other circumstances was to live in holiness and consecration to God through Jesus Christ.

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Metro

Gunmen behead Nigerian Army couple in Imo

Gunmen on Saturday shot dead and then beheaded a couple who were operatives of the Nigerian army.

Military sources told SaharaReporters that A.M Linus, a sergeant first class in the army, and his lance corporal wife were on their way to Imo State when the incident happened.

After beheading the couple, the gunmen were said to have called their family members to mock them. A gory video of the incident seen by SaharaReporters showed the gunmen putting the heads on the victims’ chests after the incident.

“It’s so sad that we soldiers are no safer. The man was a member of the 19 regular intakes while the wife was of the 79RI.

“They were on their way to Imo state on Saturday when the incident happened. You won’t believe these gunmen as we speak still used their phones to make calls to their family members, making jest of them and threatening to kill them as well.

“This couple just married recently, even their photoshoot caused a lot of criticism, and seems they were punished for it. Though the man is married to another woman with grown-up kids, he suddenly eloped with this young soldier. I was told the girl also had kids before joining the army as well.

“The man still has a father; his brother is also a soldier working at a battalion in Kaduna. The lady was also raped before they were beheaded,” a soldier told Sahara Reporters.

Attacks by armed men have increased in the South East in recent times. The attacks often target security agencies and government facilities.

The latest development came a few hours after gunmen invaded a military checkpoint in Agulu, Anaocha LGA of Anambra State on Saturday and opened fire on soldiers, killing one in the process.

The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), an outlawed group, has been linked to the deadly attacks in the region. But the group has repeatedly denied its involvement in the attacks.

The leader of the group, Nnamdi Kanu, is currently detained in Abuja where he is facing trial for treason.

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News

Fayemi visits Soludo, welcomes him to NGF


Dr Kayode Fayemi, Chairman Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) on Saturday paid a one day visit to Gov Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra in Awka and welcomed him officially to the forum.

Fayemi, who is also the Ekiti State Governor, described Soludo as a “valuable asset” to the forum while commending him for the positive steps he had taken so far on assumption of office.

He said he had been following with activities in Anambra under Soludo with keen interest adding that the state had been relatively lucky with having progressive governors.

The NGF chairman said that Soludo was another addition to the long list.

Responding, Soludo welcomed Fayemi whom he described as a long term friend and thanked him for the rare visit.

The Professor of Economics said there was need for the Progressives to form coalition in moving the country forward with special interest in human capital development.

He commended the NGF Chairman for his leadership qualities at the Forum and called for effective collaboration towards nation building.

“I appreciate you for your support since I came on board at the Nigeria Governor’s Forum and as Anambra State Governor.

“Anambra and Ekiti share several similarities especially in the area of human capital.

“Anambra, as a commercial hub, has the potential to become the industrial and entertainment hub of Nigeria,” he said.

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Sports

Real Madrid win Spanish La Liga

Real Madrid secured a 35th La Liga title on Saturday with four games to spare after a 4-0 home win over Espanyol fuelled by two goals from Rodrygo.

Needing just one point to clinch the trophy, Madrid struck twice through the Brazilian in the first half at the Santiago Bernabeu before goals from Marco Asensio and Karim Benzema.

Madrid moved 17 points clear of second-placed Sevilla with four matches to play. Barcelona have a game in hand but are 18 points adrift.

Given they have been top since November, there was no surprise about Madrid winning a league they have dominated for months, but dips in form from Barcelona and Sevilla offered the chance for an earlier coronation than expected.

With La Liga wrapped up, Madrid can now turn their full attention to the second leg of their semi-final at home to Manchester City on Wednesday, when they will need to overturn a 4-3 loss from the opening game last week to advance to another European final.

Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti rested Benzema and Vinicius Junior from the start for the visit of Espanyol, and Rodrygo seized his chance with two goals late in the first half.

He combined with compatriot Marcelo to put Madrid ahead on 33 minutes as he steered into the far corner for only his second league goal this campaign.

Mariano Diaz, handed a rare start in attack, then won the ball back deep in Espanyol territory and Rodrygo rolled in a second with a clinical finish past goalkeeper Diego Lopez.

Eduardo Camavinga played in Asensio to slam in a third for Madrid on the counter on 55 minutes, with Luka Modric then making way for Toni Kroos and Benzema replacing Casemiro on the hour.

Benzema notched his 42nd goal in as many games this season across all competitions to seal a runaway triumph for Madrid, as Ancelotti became the first coach to win all five major European league titles.

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Politics

Presidency: N100m APC fees to scare youths, we’ll buy it — Felix


Dr Nicholas Felix, a 40 -year old U.S based APC presidential aspirant, says the N100m Expression of Interest and Nomination forms will not stop him from pursuing his ambition.

Felix, who said this on Saturday in Lagos while formally declaring his aspiration to contest the 2023 presidential election said: “I didn’t expect it to be this expensive, but I later got different views about it. If the purpose of the high cost of the form is to scare the youth, I will not be scared.

“In fact, by next week I will purchase the form. It is time for a youth to come on board and do something differently. Nigerians have been yearning for a young leader and the time is now.”

The cleric, who came third in the 2019 presidential election on the platform of the Peoples Coalition Party (PCP) said that the youth would still buy the form to create a better society.

According to the youthful American-based cleric, what Nigeria needs now is a vibrant youth as President, someone who will bring in fresh ideas into governance of the country.

He said that as the youngest aspirant currently in the party, he was not scared by big-wigs in the party.

He said Nigerians would wake up to a big shock on how the 2023 general elections would come out.

He said Nigerian youths must wake to be the generation that would end insecurity, create jobs, tackle health crisis and capital flight associated with it.

“To achieve the Nigeria of our dreams,. Nigeria needs someone with my pedigree, required knowledge, vibrance and skill.

“I am in the race to change the Nigerian narrative through the support of the not-too-young-to-run law, promising to bring more young professionals home and abroad together to contribute to the development of our great nation.”

Reeling out his seven-point agenda, Felix said: “Rescuing Nigeria and Nigerians from perennial insecurity by strengthening and equipping of our military formation and the police force.

“More men and better equipment are desperately needed! Improving power generation by revisiting and correcting loopholes in the privatisation process and also delving into alternative energy sources.

“Providing quality and affordable healthcare for the people. Infrastructural management and development. Eradicating corruption in all forms and blocking all sources of financial leakages in the system·

“Improving the standards of education in Nigeria· Agricultural mechanisation· Socio-economic development (youth empowerment, poverty alleviation, HIV/AIDS eradication, child welfare improvement, and protection of vulnerable groups.”

Felix promised not to betray Nigerians if elected.

“Mark my words compatriots, we will never betray your trust and the social contract that will exist between us, and in the first 100 days, we will fight insecurity with every force and might.

“We will strengthen the confidence and glory of our men in uniform who pay the ultimate price to keep us safe.

“We will revamp the educational system and overhaul its philosophy to solve societal problems through adequate research and proper implementation.

“We will empower our talented youths by investing more in information technology, science, engineering, and humanities as well as encourage start-ups and support other micro-businesses.

“In collaboration with the private sector, we will create jobs by providing enabling environment for citizens to thrive.”

According to him, his administration intends to turn away from our culture of consumerism to becoming a producing and self-sufficient nation.

Felix, who promised to continue with the diversification of the nation’s economy, pledged to develop the solid mineral sector and invest massively in agriculture, to put Nigeria on the map, as a major food belt in Africa.

“We will tackle our electricity problem head-on, from generation to transmission and distribution, as we intend to explore other sources of energy without relying on our hydrothermal and gas potential alone.

“Most importantly, on the front burner of our policies, I will champion the cause of peace and unity of our dear country,” he added.

According to him, since good governance precedes development, it has become imperative for him to surround himself with the most qualified and experienced professionals to help pilot the affairs of this great country- Nigeria, in the right direction.

He said that through his array of initiatives, as one who has lived, worked, and employed professionals abroad, particularly in the U.S., he would work with professionals at home and in diaspora to strengthen the nation’s economy.

The New York based Edo born presidential hopeful is the President/Founder of Miracle Center International and Chief Executive Officer of Zoe Homecare Agency and Victory Security Company, Fresh Cleaning Services.

Felix holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Biblical Studies (BBS) Major Concentration in Ministry Leadership & Minor Concentration Pastoral Ministry from Ames Christian University in Florida, USA.

He also holds a Doctorate Degree in Divinity (DD) from CICA International University & Seminary in New York City and currently studying to earn Another Doctorate Degree in Ministry from CICA International University & Seminary in New York City.

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Metro

FRSC decorates 50 newly promoted officers in Kaduna


The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Kaduna Sector Command, on Friday, decorated 50 newly promoted officers with their new ranks.

Addressing the officers in Kaduna, the FRSC Sector Commander, Mr Hafiz Mohammed, urged the newly promoted to do more, adding that much is expected from them.

Out of the 50 personnel decorated, 11 are Senior Marshal Inspectors and 39 are Assistant Road Marshals.

Mohammed told the promoted officers that discipline and dedication were the bedrock of growth in the service.

He charged the promoted officers to put in their best while performing their constitutional duties.

Mohammed urged the officers to come up with new ideas that would promote the corporate mandate of the Corps.

Also, the Deputy Corps Commander, Technical Service Department, Mrs Robina Maji, urged the officers to be dedicated to duty, noting that promotion comes from God.

“To who much is given, much is expected,” she said.

Also Chief Inspector Justin Bature, who spoke on behalf of the promoted officers, thanked the management team of FRSC for finding them worthy of the promotion.

He advised those that did not make the promotion to keep their faith and be dedicated to their duty so that they would be promoted in the next promotion exercise.

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Metro

Sallah: Kogi CP promises massive security


The Commissioner of Police in Kogi, Mr Edward Egbuka on Friday, directed massive security across the state before, during and after Sallah.

A statement issued in Lokoja by SP William Ovye-Aya, the state command’s Public Relations Officer, said that the CP gave the directive during a conference held with senior officers of the command.

Egbuka charged all area commanders, tactical and operational commanders as well as the divisional police officers to beef up security within their areas of responsibilities and to ensure massive deployment of patrol teams along the major highways.

“You must undertake undercover operations to black spots, flash points and other vulnerable criminal spots to nip in the bud all forms of crimes and criminality across the State during the celebration.

“As pragmatic officers, you must make sure that detection of crimes are prompt to serve as effective deterrent to all criminals,” he directed.

He reiterated the command’s level of preparedness, determination and commitment in synergy with other security agencies in ensuring safety of lives and property before, during and after Sallah.

The police boss urged the good people of the state to continue to collaborate with the security forces with credible and useful information on the activities of criminal elements to curtail their acts.

He, however, heartily felicitated all the Muslim faithful on the occasion of 2022 Eid-el-Fitr.

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News

1,920 teachers undergo training for KwaraLEARN programme


Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara on Wednesday in Ilorin expressed satisfaction at the performance of teachers undergoing a two-week training as part of preparations to commence the KwaraLEARN basic education project in the state.

Abdulrazaq said the programme would drastically improve the capacity of teachers, encourage transparency in the school environment, and improve quality of public education and learning.

The KwaraLEARN (Leading Education Achievement and Reform Now) was designed to deliver dramatic improvements in learning in public schools for all children across Kwara.

The governor said it will transform all government primary schools across the state into powerful public schools, using an innovative technology and data-driven platform, high-quality learning materials, effective training and coaching for teachers and school leaders.

“I congratulate you all because the process you are going through will be of benefit to all of us in the state, in Nigeria and to humanity. The knowledge being imparted will improve our society.

“I respect all of you for what you do. They say the teacher’s reward is in heaven. We also need to take care of you while alive. The state government, as much as possible, will try to look into your welfare.

“It is important, because your livelihood solely depends on teaching. We do not joke with your salaries, and that is why we made the N30,000 minimum wage for workers our priority,” he said.

The governor, who acknowledged the important roles teachers play in shaping the future of any nation, said his administration will consider more incentives to boost teachers’ morale in schools.

In another development, the governor visited Kwara students who recently emerged as champions in the Presidential debate at their training camp, ahead of the world schools debate in the Netherlands in August.

Chairman, Kwara Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB), Prof. Sheu Adaramaja, while speaking, said the training is in phases, starting from two local government areas of Ilorin West and Baruten, with selected head teachers and classroom teachers as participants.

Adaramaja said the technology-based training will teach them how to use smart phones and tablets to monitor attendance, assess pupils, grade and transmit their results to their parents after school examinations, instead of the old Paper Pen Test (PPT) to achieve assessment of pupils.

“This is part of the innovative technology that the Governor has introduced to basic education in Kwara,” he said.

Adarmaja said the Board has engaged the services of experts, particularly native speakers of English language, in equipping the pupils ahead of the international debate competition.

Mrs. Margaret Awotunde, SUBEB Training officer, said “At least 1,920 participants from four local governments Ilorin West, East, Offa and Baruten are expected to attend the ongoing phase of the training.

The teachers commended the state government for the initiative, which they believed would lessen their task of writing through paper and pen while conforming to 21st century realities.

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News

Iranian attempts to kill Pompeo, U.S. officials are ‘real’ – Blinken


Iran’s attempts to assassinate former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are real and ongoing, his successor, Antony Blinken, told Congress on Tuesday.

Testifying before a Senate panel, Blinken acknowledged details made public last month in a sensitive State Department report that outlined a security arrangement for the former secretary involving round-the-clock government protection.

“I’m not sure what I can say in an open setting, but let me say generically that there is an ongoing threat against American officials, both present and past,” Blinken said.

“We are making sure and we will make sure for as long as it takes that we’re protecting our people, present and former, if they’re under threat,”. he added.

Pompeo, a former U.S. secretary of state and CIA director under President Donald Trump, was one of the architects of the Trump administration’s hard-line approach to Tehran, reimplementing sanctions after the U.S. withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal and supporting the assassination of Qassem Soleimani, a top Iranian general.

All former secretaries of state automatically receive protection from the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security for 180 days after leaving office.

But Blinken has repeatedly extended that protection for 60-day increments due to “a serious and credible threat from a foreign power or agent of a foreign power arising from duties performed by former Secretary Pompeo while employed by the department,” according to the sensitive State Department report to Congress last month.

The department is spending over $2 million per month to protect Pompeo and one of his top former aides, Brian Hook, and have spent over $13 million to date, according to the report.

Blinken was responding to questioning from Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, who asked the secretary whether the Biden administration was requiring Iran to pledge “not to murder a former secretary of state.”

“They know what they’d need to do to address this problem, and that’s pretty straightforward,” Blinken said. “Within the context of any engagements we have, directly or indirectly with Iranians, one of the strong messages we send to them is, they need to stop targeting our people — period.”

The State Department did not respond to a request for additional comment. A representative of Pompeo did not provide comment.

The Biden administration has been concerned with the threats against Pompeo and Hook since January.

“Make no mistake: the United States of America will protect and defend its citizens,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said at the time.

“As Americans, we have our disagreements on politics. We have our disagreements on Iran policy.

“But we are united in our resolve against threats and provocations. We are united in the defense of our people,” Sullivan added.

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Metro

2023: Prevail on Buratai to join presidential race, Group urges Emir

Buratai predicts when Boko Haram insurgency will end in Nigeria
A political and socio-economic group, Fusion 774, has urged the Emir of Keffi, Alhaji Shehu Yamusa, to prevail on Nigerian Ambassador to Benin Republic, Tukur Buratai, to join the 2023 presidential race.

The National Coordinator of the group, Mr Sadiq Jikta, made the call when he led other members on a visit to the Emir on Tuesday in Keffi, Nasarawa State.

The group has been mounting pressure on the Former Chief of Army Staff to declare his interest to run for the highest office in the land.

Jikta, in a statement issued in Abuja on Tuesday, said that the group was in the palace to solicit for the emir’s fatherly blessings and counsel, since Buratai was a tenant in his domain.

He noted that Buratai performed valiantly as chief of army staff, adding that he led the Nigerian military in reclaiming all the regions previously controlled by Boko Haram terrorists.

He said that the former army chief also instituted reforms and fiscal discipline in the army, leading to improvement in its effectiveness.

“The ambassador has, thus far, refused to listen to our call and those of other Nigerians for him to declare, but we feel that your intervention will change that,” he said.

Responding, the emir assured the group that he would consider their request and determine the best course of action, even as he prayed for Allah’s blessing upon the group.

The royal father expressed gratitude to members of the group for their decision to visit his palace to seek fatherly guidance.

“All I can say is that we will consider your request and determine the best course of action. May Allah’s blessings be with you all,” the emir said. (NAN) (www.nannews.ng)

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News

CCT Chairman, Danladi Umar to appear before senate over alleged misconduct

A Federal High Court in Abuja on Tuesday dismissed a suit by the Chairman of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, Danladi Yakubu Umar seeking to stop the Senate from probing him on alleged misconduct.

The Court held that as a public officer administering law, he is answerable to the Senate on moral standards.

Justice Inyang Eden Ekwo, in a judgment in the suit, ordered the CCT boss to go and appear before the Senate and answer questions on a public petition brought against him by an aggrieved citizen.

The judge held that his case seeking to stop the probe by the Senate lacked merit and was dismissed.

More soon…

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Metro

Lagos begins training of LASDRI drivers

Lagos state has commenced training of the first batch of Lagos State Drivers Institute (LASDRI).

The batch consists of 63 drivers and will go through the Mandatory Drivers Training and Recertification Exercise.

The measure is part of the plan to maintain safety and security by the operator of the Lagos Ride Taxi Scheme, “IBILE Holdings”.

Welcoming the drivers, the General Manager, LASDRI, Mrs. Afusat Tiamiyu, admonished them to see their participation in the Institute’s training programme as a golden opportunity to improve their driving skills and techniques.

The General Manager stressed that the training would expose them to recognition of more road signs, basic vehicle maintenance, road culture and sanity among the motoring public.

She said the Institute would also conduct eye-screening tests to know each participant’s vision status, saying that it is a prerequisite for recommendation as a good driver.

Tiamiyu stated that the ride-hailing taxi initiative, which was designed and operated on a lease-to-own basis, is a component of the State Government’s multi-modal transportation blueprint being executed under the Traffic Management and Transportation pillar of the T.H.E.M.E.S Agenda of Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration.

She, however, implored the drivers not to see the vehicles leased to them as government property but as their own and must, therefore, be security conscious and protective of them as an investment.

Recall that the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, recently launched the ride-hailing service taxi scheme known as “Lagos Ride” at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, with the roll-out of the first batch of 1000 brand new GAC automobiles.

The initiative is a partnership between Lagos State-owned IBILE Holdings Limited and CIG Motors Company Limited, with the sole objective of providing new, clean, and reliable means of taxi movement across the metropolis at an affordable cost.

Categories
Metro

World’s oldest person dies at 119 in Japan who kept solving maths problems

A Japanese woman certified the world’s oldest person has died at the age of 119, local officials said Monday.

Kane Tanaka was born January 2, 1903, in the southwestern Fukuoka region of Japan, the same year the Wright brothers flew for the first time and Marie Curie became the first woman to win a Nobel Prize.

Ms Tanaka was in relatively good health until recently and lived at a nursing home, where she enjoyed board games, solving maths problems, soda and chocolate.

In her younger years, Ms Tanaka ran various businesses including a noodle shop and a rice cake store.

A century ago, she married Hideo Tanaka in 1922, giving birth to four children and adopting a fifth.

She had planned to use a wheelchair to take part in the torch relay for the Tokyo Olympics in 2021, but the pandemic prevented her from doing so.

On her 119th birthday on January 2, Ms Tanaka’s family members said she hoped to live to 120.

When the Guinness World Records recognised Ms Tanaka as the oldest person alive in 2019, she was asked what moment she was the most happy in life.

The woman, who by that time could barely speak, replied with a single word: ‘Now.’

Ms Tanaka’s daily routine was described at the time as including a 6:00 am wake-up, and afternoons spent studying mathematics and practising calligraphy.

‘One of Kane’s favourite pastimes is a game of Othello and she’s become an expert at the classic board game, often beating rest-home staff,’ Guinness said.

Local governor Seitaro Hattori hailed Ms Tanaka’s life after she passed away on April 19.

‘I was looking forward to seeing Kane-san on this year’s Respect for the Aged Day (a Japanese national holiday in September) and celebrating together with her favorite soda and chocolate,’ he said in a statement on Monday.

‘I am extremely saddened by the news.’

The Russo-Japanese War began only a year after Ms Tanaka was born, and in her childhood lived through the final year’s of Japan’s Meiji era, considered to be a transformative period of modernisation.

She was recognised as the world’s oldest living person by the Guinness World Records when she was 116 in 2019.

In 2020 she became the oldest person in Japan at 117 and 261 days old.

According to the Guinness World Records website Ms Tanaka got married to her cousin aged 19 in 1922 and the couple ran a noodle shop called Tanaka Mochiya which sold udon, rice cakes and zenzai.

Her husband and eldest son fought in the second Sino-Japanese War which began in 1937.

Aged 90, Ms Tanaka had cataract surgery. The record-holder also underwent colorectal cancer surgery when she was 103.

Categories
News

Female nursing student expelled over sex video in Cross River

The management of Cross River State School of Nursing and Midwifery, Itigidi, in Abi Local Government has expelled a female student who was allegedly captured in leaked sex tapes.

According to CrossRiverWatch, three sexually explicit videos of the student identified as Gracious Paradise, the daughter of a pastor John Paradise, surfaced online recently.

Mr. Paradise oversees the Banner of Grace Church, Ketabebe in Ugep, Yakurr Local Government Area.

”The alleged xxx videos of his daughter who is reportedly a final year student of the institution made the school authority to send her packing,” a family source who did not want to be named, told the publication.

But, a member of the Governing Board of the institution said the Board is not aware of the development.

“I called to find out but the details are sketchy. But, we are to meet tomorrow, maybe it will be tabled there,” the board member said after asking if the lady was wearing the school’s uniform while carrying out the act.

The report added that in two of the videos, Ms. Gracious was clearly aware of the act.

 

Meanwhile,  the CrossRiverWatch journalist Abba Jalingo has also shared photos of the guy who allegedly leaked the sex tapes.

Categories
Politics

APC high cost of nomination forms will disenfranchise Nigerians- PDP, NNPP


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) says the All Progressives Congress (APC) high cost for nomination and expression of interest forms for elective positions for 2023 has disenfranchised many Nigerians.

The PDP National Chairman, Sen. Iyorchia Ayu stated this in a statement on Thursday in Abuja

The APC has pegged its nomination fees for president for N100 million, Governor for 50 million, Senate-N20 million, House of Representatives- N10 million, and State House of Assembly – two million naira.

Ayu in a statement by his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Simon Imobo-Tswam, said such price did not take into factor the economy situation and the suffering of Nigerians.

Ayu added that the price did not also reflect APC’s preaching for “Equal Opportunity”.

“This has disenfranchised thousands of Nigeria youths, and dashed the hopes of millions of Nigerian youths, who applauded signing of the Not Too Young To Run Bill into law in 2018.

“It is most insensitive, and mind-boggling. In fact, all those buying the N100m and N50m nomination forms should be investigated for suspected fraud.

“We, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), are different. We are a mass movement for the Nigerian people. This is why our nomination fees are soft and democratic,” Ayu said.

Similarly, the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Agbo Major, has described the APC nomination forms fees for 2023 general elections as outrageous.

Major said that the fees were unfair, unjust, despicable and insensitive to the plights of Nigerians

He said selling forms to the highest bidder, would encourage godfatherism.

“It will shut out patriotic and resourceful aspirants particularly women, youth and those with disability to continue its infamous recycling of retired and tired party stalwarts with no agenda for a better Nigeria.

He also called on anti-graft agencies of the country to thoroughly investigate the source of income of any person who purchases the party nomination form.

“ This is the only way the nation’s electoral process will be sanitised of money politics that has imposed clueless leaders on the populace.

“The consequence is the lingering political upheavals, insecurity, economic depression, moral decadence, religious disharmony and ethnic division across the country.”

Agbo called on Nigerians to rally support for NNPP in the 2023 general elections

Categories
Metro

Air Force airstrike allegedly kills six children, destroys houses in Niger State

At least six children have been allegedly killed by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) air strike in Kuregba community in Shiroro Local Government Area of Niger State.

According to Daily Trust, the air component of the Joint Security Operatives mistakenly struck the community on Wednesday morning, April 20, while trying to bombard the hideouts of terrorists in part of the local government.

The spokesman of Coalition of Shiroro Associations, Salis Mohammed Sabo, said the incident happened when the children were fetching water from a motorised borehole within the Kurebe community.

In a statement released, Sabo said a father lost two of his daughters and two granddaughters to the strike, adding that the community where the air strike took place was not the hideout of the bandits. The statement read;

“Six children were bombed to pieces by explosion from fighter jet belonging to Nigerian Air Force in Kurebe, Shiroro Local Government of Niger State. The incident happened on Wednesday the 20th of April, 2022, in the morning when the children were coming back to fetch water from a motorized borehole within Kurebe community.”

“A man who lost two of his daughters and two grand daughters in the incident said; there was no single bandit within the village at the time the aircraft bombarded the innocent children. He added that the terrorists camps are well known. He said the terrorists around the community are of two groups, with two different camps. One links up with the community through Unguwan Zomo, the other through Kwantan Yashi area. Therefore, they do not understand why fighter jet would be targeting the community where civilians live.

“The person whose house was destroyed narrated their ordeal. He maintained that they are living a life of denial, they are at the mercy of the terrorists as the terrorists come into the community at will, loot their property, raped their daughters, wives and even their mothers. They forced then to live in the village as anyone who attempts to leave will incur the wrath of the terrorists. He added that there was no presence of any security personnel in the area

“The two other children who lost their lives in the incidents have for long lost their parents. One of them is a daughter to late Malam Isah Kurebe and the other is a daughter to late Malam Adamu Kurebe, who was killed by the terrorists two years ago. The innocent child he left over, has now been taken away by similar fate. This is the second time this type of incident is happening.

“While we continue to vent, spleen, raise dust and even bring down the roof when occasion calls for that, to get the Government do what it has sworn to do. However, the continued pampering of these nefarious vermin who inflict terror straight from gutter will leave us with so much to be inferred.

Salis M Sabo Esq

The Spokesperson

Coalition of Shiroro Association

Categories
Metro

Chrisland: Psychiatrist recommends psychological debriefing for teachers, pupils


A Consultant Neuro-Psychiatrist, Dr Maymunah Kadiri, says there is need for the teachers and pupils of Chrisland School, Lagos, to undergo psychological debriefing, following alleged sexual acts in a viral video involving some pupils of the school.

Kadiri gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.

A sex tape involving some minors from the upscale school, including a 10-year-old female student, had gone viral, sparking outrage and condemnation.

The alleged sexual act took place when the pupils travelled to Dubai in March 2022 to take part in the World School Games, a four-day annual competition with schools from all over the world.

The incident became public when Ubi Franklin, a Talent Manager, on his Twitter handle accused the school of complicity in the sexual violation involving the 10-year-old girl.

“The school as a whole needs to undergo psychological debriefing to enable them outpour their minds and experiences concerning the incident; which will go a long way to help in reshaping the school.

“This is necessary to enable the schools members recount their experiences, ordeals and observations during, after and even before the incident.”

According to her, the school should upscale its efforts in teaching and inculcating good morals and values in the lives of the students.

“Yes, it is true that parents have a key role to play in supporting their offspring. But, the truth is that , children spend more time in school.

“So, the school has a huge role to play in ensuring that the children are safe, consistent and well-grounded in morals and values.”

To the parents, Kadiri advised that they should learn to listen to their children non-judgementally, creating free atmosphere for them to freely interact and express themselves.

According to her, the best way for parents to help their children’s mental health is to give them words to express themselves and describe their feelings.

She identified discipline, effective communication and personal morals as things parents should pay attention to when raising their wards.

“By giving children words to their tongue, you are actually giving them permission to speak their mind.

“This victim (girl), for one month she didn’t tell her mother, why?.

“So, there’s that gap there; they must not go to the extent of beating her before she can express herself. Parents should create that mutual relationship with their children.

“As a parent, you have to learn to listen to your children non-judgementally – don’t listen to respond, but listen to understand,” she said.

Kadiri noted that the victim (girl) and her parents should go for individual counseling and therapy to be able understand how to cope, manage and overcome the situation as well as the traumas associated with it.

She noted that the girl would have already formed opinions and ideas that only special care can change.

“The girl in question and her parents need to go for individual counselling and therapy to understand how to better handle the situation, and is a must for them,” she said.

Categories
News

Queen Elizabeth clocks 96, celebrates birthday in Sandringham


Queen Elizabeth will celebrate her 96th birthday on Thursday in Sandringham.

Britain’s longest-reigning monarch travelled by helicopter to her Norfolk estate, where she will be joined by family and friends.

She is expected to stay in a cottage on the estate particularly liked by her late husband, Prince Philip.

A photograph has been released to mark the birthday, showing the Queen with two ponies and reflecting her lifelong interest in horses.

The picture was taken at Windsor Castle, where the Queen now mostly stays, and shows her with two Fell ponies, who will appear in the forthcoming Royal Windsor Horse Show.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge wished the Queen happy birthday on Twitter, calling the monarch an “inspiration to so many across the UK, the Commonwealth and the world”, and sharing a photo of the Queen and Prince Philip with seven of their great-grandchildren.

The tweet reads, “Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a very happy 96th birthday today! An inspiration to so many across the UK, the Commonwealth and the world, it’s particularly special to be celebrating in this #PlatinumJubilee year.”

Prince Harry suggested in a US TV interview that the Queen might be downplaying this latest milestone, saying that “after a certain age you get bored of birthdays”.

The Queen was in Sandringham earlier this year when she marked her accession to the throne in 1952.

She was born in 1926, not in a royal residence, but in a London townhouse on Bruton Street, where she first lived with her father and mother, who became King George VI and Queen Elizabeth.

Birthday wishes have been sent by Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and gun salutes will be fired.

The Queen has had mobility problems in recent months and has had to miss a number of events, including church services over Easter.

Her only public appearance this year, outside of her own residences or on video, was at the Thanksgiving Service for Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey.

The Queen’s 96th birthday marks another unprecedented age for a British monarch, in a year in which she has become the first monarch to celebrate a Platinum Jubilee of 70 years on the throne.

The next longest-lived monarchs were Queen Victoria and George III, who lived to the age of 81, and were the only other monarchs to have lived into their 80s.

According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, the Queen is one of about 124,000 people in the 95 to 99 age group in the UK, almost three quarters of these being women.

A Barbie doll celebrating the legacy of the Queen is being released to commemorate her Platinum Jubilee, featuring a recreation of her wedding tiara and an ivory gown fitted with a blue ribbon.

Categories
Entertainment

Rihanna’s boyfriend A$AP Rocky arrested over shooting


A$AP Rocky, birth name Rakim Mayers, was detained on Wednesday at Los Angeles International Airport in connection to a November 2021 shooting, according to multiple law enforcement sources familiar with the matter.

Mayers was arriving on a private plane from Barbados, where he had been on vacation with his girlfriend, the singer Rihanna.

Mayers’ attorney, Alan Jackson, confirmed that his client had been arrested.

Mayers had been under investigation by the Los Angeles Police Departments for a Nov. 6 shooting near Vista Del Mar and Selma Ave. around 10:20 pm. The shooting victim later told police that Mayers, who was walking with two others, approached him with a handgun on the street. The victim claimed Mayers shot at him three to four times and believed one of the bullets grazed his left hand, according to police reports.

The shooting had not yet been reported in the media.

LAPD made the arrest with assistance from Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations team. In January, Rihanna, announced that she was pregnant with her first child. In March, she told the magazine Elle she was in her third trimester. The singer turned 34 in February.

In 2019, Mayers, now 33, was arrested in Sweden after a fight on the street between his entourage and two men.

He was convicted of assault, given a suspended prison sentence and had to pay more than $1,000 in damages. He served a month in jail before the sentence was handed down so did not have to serve any additional time.

Categories
Metro

Sterling Bank: CAN demands CEO sacking over ungodly Easter advert


The Christian Association of Nigeria has demanded the sacking of the Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Bank, Abubakar Suleiman, over a controversial Easter advert.

In a statement signed on Wednesday by the National Secretary, Joseph Daramola, CAN stated that the advert was “wicked and insensisitve” towards Christians.

Sterling Bank faced a backlash after the company published its Easter message, which compared the Resurrection of Jesus Christ to Agege bread.

The statement read in part, “The attention of the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria has been drawn to an ungodly, wicked, insensitive and deliberately provocative advertisement of Sterling Bank, comparing the Resurrection of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ to ‘Agege bread’ amidst the Easter celebration.

“In case the management of Sterling Bank is not aware, the Resurrection of Jesus witnesses to the immense power of God Himself. To believe in the Resurrection is to believe in God. If God exists, and if He created the universe and has power over it, then He has power to raise the dead. If He does not have such power, He is not worthy of our faith and worship.

“Only He who created life can resurrect it after death; only He can reverse the mystery that is death itself, and only He can remove the sting and gain the victory over the grave (1 Corinthians 15:54–55). In resurrecting Jesus from the grave, God reminds us of His absolute sovereignty over life and death.”

The backlash, Sterling Bank apologised for the error with another message, which called for forgiveness, but also received negative comments.

The Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON), in a statement signed by its Registrar and Chief Executive, Olalekan Fadolapo, said the body would punish Sterling Bank for posting what it described as an offensive and provocative advert.

CAN advised Christians to be wary of the banks they patronise, insisting that Suleiman and the Management of the bank showed “hostility and hatred” for the Christian faith.

“The purported apology did not come from a penitent heart. How can someone in his right mind described the risen Christ as a loaf of bread. That is insulting, ridiculous and a mockery of Jesus Christ. We advise Christians to be wary of the banks and other financial institutions they are patronising.

“We learnt that the Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria has reportedly intervened in the matter with a view to impose some sanctions against Sterling Bank. The Christian Association of Nigeria is waiting for the decision of the organisation.

“However, in the interim, we call for the immediate removal of the Chief Executive of Sterling Bank; Mr. Abubakar Suleiman with his Management whose actions have clearly shown their hostility and hatred for the Christian faith,” the stated further read.

Categories
EPL Sports

EPL: Top five goals in Man City vs Brighton matches


Ahead of Manchester City’s Premier League clash with Brighton, enjoy five of the best goals we’ve scored against the Seagulls at the Etihad Stadium.

City host Graham Potter’s men on Wednesday 20 April, with kick-off scheduled for 20:00 (UK).

After losing six successive Premier League matches, Brighton have turned their form around in recent weeks, picking up impressive wins away to Arsenal and Tottenham.

But with City keen to get back to winning ways following Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final defeat to Liverpool, everything points towards a thrilling encounter at the Etihad Stadium.

Ahead of the clash, take a trip down memory lane by enjoying some sumptuous strikes from our previous fixtures against the Seagulls, including a thunderbolt from Sergio Aguero.

Categories
Entertainment

Burna Boy to perform at 2022 Billboard Music Awards as Mary J. Blige reveives Icon Award


Burna Boy is set to perform live during the 2022 Billboard Music Awards. Although not nominated, the “African Giant” will give his debut BBMAs performance at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas next month.

Additionally, Megan Thee Stallion and Latto are also set to perform at the ceremony for the first time. Both women are finalists for Billboard’s Top Female Rap Artist category during this year’s event, in company with Bronx superstar Cardi B. Puerto Rican singer Alejandro will also make his BBMA debut, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers are set to return to the award show for their first performance in over two decades

More additions to the BBMAs are set to be announced in the coming weeks, including the recipient of this year’s Change Maker award. As previously announced, Mary J. Blige will be honored with the Icon Award at the ceremony.

Billboard Music Awards finalists and winners are based on key fan interactions with music, including album and digital song sales, streaming, radio airplay, and social engagement, all tracked by Billboard and its data partners. This year’s awards are based on the chart period of April 10, 2021, through March 26, 2022.

The 2022 Billboard Music Awards will air Sunday, May 15, at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT live on NBC. Additionally, the BBMAs will stream live on Peacock. The awards are produced by MRC Live & Alternative with Robert Deaton as Executive Producer.

Categories
Politics

You are a traitor– Tinubu, Osinbajo’s supporters fight ugly


Barely a week of Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo’s declaration for the seat of president and Bola Tinubu for same office, the fight has intensified among their fans, filled with name-calling.

Some Tinubu’s supporters have called him a betrayer and Judas, for daring to stand against the former governor of Lagos State.

Tolu Babaleye said: “This is the week that Judas Iscariot betrayed Jesus Christ in the Christian calendar. Same week Osinbajo betrayed Tinubu. Same week is not a mere coincidence. May God be with Tinubu in Pilates’ Court.”

Prior to the commencement of the election season, the supporters of both politicians were in the same camp. Some people referred to them as BMC on social media or other derogatory terms like APC Rottweilers and Ponmo FC.

Some of the prominent members of the APC southwest included Arinola Awokoya, the daughter of Gani Fawehinmi, Olusoga Owoeye, Yinka Ogunubi, Akinsola Olusegun Dada, Gawat Jubril, Iyalaya and several others.

For the past seven years, they have defended the Buhari administration, been very critical of the EndSARS and taken some positions on issues that have earned them flanks.

However, this election has divided the group, and a social media battle has commenced. Either side is deploying all means to demarket the different aspirants.

Joe Igbokwe, the Special Adviser for Drainage and Water Resources to Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu, also subscribed to the notion of betrayer.

“Is this how we will pay Asiwaju for helping to lift us up? This monumental betrayal has no part 2. I am totally diminished as a mortal who understands very well the meaning and the power of loyalty,” DAILY POST had reported.

Last week, Abdulmummin Jubrin, a staunch supporter of the Tinubu for president campaign had cautioned against the name calling.

“Our South west APC family, stop these attacks! Where is your political smartness? If not for the fights within you which those against your interest are taking advantage of, South west should naturally have the right of first refusal for the APC Presidential ticket! CLOSE YOUR RANKS!,” Jibrin said.

This action looks similar to the strategy used by the Tnubu’s camp against Rauf Aregbesola during the Osun State APC governorship primaries. It would be recalled that Aregbesola had attacked Tinubu and some leaders of the APC in the Southwest.

Several supporters of the former Lagos State governor, accused Aregbesola of being ungrateful, and daring to challenge his benefactor.

Sola Olofin, contender of BAT Vanguard had tweeted during the fight between Aregbesola and Tinubu

“Aregbesola activates his own political oblivion, a journey of no return. We are Yorubas and we’ll not stand behind any ingrate or traitor who disrespect our leaders. What happened during Awolowo will not repeat never again,” he had said.

In the past two weeks, the same strategy has been in full swing against Osinbajo, not just online but offline.

Over the weekend, Tinubu’s camp organized a special prayer programme for their principal. Several speakers at the programme directed missives towards the Vice President.

Categories
News

Stop using religion for political gains, Presidency cautioñs religious leaders, politicians


The Presidency has again advised religious leaders and politicians to desist from from using religion for cheap political goals.

The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, gave the advice in a statement in Abuja late Monday night while reacting to 2022 Easter message by the Catholic Bishop of the Diocese of Sokoto, Most Rev. Mathew Kukah.

Shehu noted that, from his pulpit, Kukah devoted his Easter message not to Christ’s death and rebirth so Man might be saved – but to damning the government in the most un-Christian terms.

According to him, Kukah neglects the Bible’s teachings in James 1:26: “If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless”.

”Easter should be a time for renewal, and for hope. For those in authority – both temporal and spiritual – to come together in word and deed so those who look to them for example can be inspired by their grace,” he said.

Kukah’s Easter message was delivered at a mass service on Sunday, in Sokoto.

In the message, Kukah lamented the increased cases of kidnapping, banditry and other criminality and stressed the need for collective efforts against the menace.

He advised the President to concede that it was within his powers to decide how we are going to end the war that had engulfed and was tearing down our nation.

Shehu, however, said: ”This is not a time for religious leaders to play politics, or politicians to play religion. It is a time, as in Titus 3:9 to “avoid foolish controversies, genealogies, dissensions, and quarrels about the law, for they are unprofitable and worthless”.

”Yet Bishop Kukah used his sermon purposefully to make dissensions and quarrels about the law. His accusatory list against the government revealed only his hatred for them.

”Still, when he accused them of division, he gave no examples: merely assertions emanating from his own mouth. His allegation of ethnic and regional divide was innuendo without proof, and he gave none.

”His list of things he claims as broken – from churches to mosques to schools and motorways – belie all those that have been built, and others built anew during this government’s time in office.

”Should he feel compelled for whatever reason to criticize the government for what he views as their mistakes the Bible makes clear how it should be done: “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness”, Galatians 6:1-2.

”If Bishops or religious leaders believe they have a willing audience for tales of government error or fragility, they do an injustice to their flock by filling their ears with talk of division and hateful thoughts.

”Nigeria knows too well Bishop Kukah’s views of the government. He has made quite clear how much he dislikes them from the day they were elected.

”Whether expressing his political views is a good use or an abuse of religious office is for others to decide. But the people of Nigeria have spoken – twice: They support this government at the ballot box. They have not been swayed by hateful talk from any bully-pulpit.”

According to the presidential aide, Kukah should concentrate on his spiritual assignments and leave government to the voters and the politicians.

”We respectfully ask Bishop Kukah to leave government to the voters and the politicians they elect, while he concentrates on his job, as it is expressed in James 1:27: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world.”

”Or else, he should put away his clerical garb, join partisan politics and see how far he can go.”

Categories
Politics

Ngige joins presidential race


Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, has joined the race for the presidential seat.

His media office stated on Sunday that the minister had been consulting stakeholders in his All Progressives Congress (APC) party as well as stalwarts of opposition political parties.

He is scheduled to publicly declare his intention on April 19, the media office stated.

It added that Ngige gave his explanation for consulting opposition political parties when he addressed his supporters at Amansea, a border town with Enugu State after visiting Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi.

The media office stated also that Ngige’s standpoint was informed by his belief that his aspiration had a cross-party appeal.

“I visited Enugu State governor as part of my nation-wide consultation. Even though he is in PDP, he is an Igbo man.

“He is a very realistic, discerning person. Don’t forget also that Enugu is the capital of the former Eastern Region. And you know that respect is reciprocal.

“Over the week, I also consulted some other Nigerians not allied to any political party. Therefore, I had to consult the Enugu State governor over my intention to contest and to seek his views too.

“He told me to kick the ball into the net.

“So this journey is not for APC members alone. Our brothers in PDP are easily agreed that I tower above some of the persons aspiring to the position in their party.

“I have no fear whatsoever. I am equal to the task. Even our brothers in the All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) will join us in the task ahead,’’ Ngige was quoted as saying.

The minister said also that his antecedents, stewardship as a civil servant, governor, senator and minister stood him apart.

“What we did in Anambra in 34 months, those who did eight years have not done them.

“I did 34 months during which I laid the foundation for the new Anambra. I didn’t just lay the foundation; I also took the house beyond the lintel level.

“I built schools, returned schools to the missions, rescued Odumegwu Ojukwu University from the status of a glorified secondary school – built structures there and secured accreditation for 15 courses including Law and Medicine.

“I rehabilitated and upgraded our general hospitals, including Enugwu-Ukwu, Onitsha and Amaku in Awka and restructured the state’s civil service and also introduced examination as basis for promotion.

“I built more than 500km of roads across all senatorial zones that are still standing today.

“I also inherited N42 billion debts when I assumed office. I didn’t talk about it. I put my hands on the plough and started working and cleared arrears of pensions and salaries, among others,’’ Ngige was also quoted as saying.

Ngige added that he had an advantage of being part of this government and part of the 7th Senate.

“I’m well equipped for the job,’’ he stressed.

“I plan to re-engineer Nigeria the way I re-engineered Anambra. April 19 is the date. Let all roads lead to Alor where the matter will be laid to rest,’’ Ngige quipped.

Categories
Nigeria news

I’ll replicate Rivers’ feat for Nigeria – Wike


PDP Presidential aspirant and Rivers governor, Nyesom Wike has said that he would replicate Rivers’ socio-economic growth and infrastructural development at the centre, if elected President in 2023.

Wike said this on Saturday in Jos when he addressed delegates expected to decide the fate of Peoples Democratic Party aspirants ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The governor said the monumental development he brought to Rivers was visible for everyone to see.

“The reason I am here is to let you know that I have offered myself to run for the office of the President of Nigeria on the platform of the PDP.

“I have remained in this party since 1998 and I have not gone anywhere. I know PDP more than anyone today.

“If I get the ticket, I will win the election for PDP.

“You know those who have capacity; see what I have done in Rivers. I will replicate that in Nigeria and do even more,” he said.

The governor told the delegates that if elected President of Nigeria, he would address the security challenges bedeviling the country.

He commended the Plateau PDP for winning Jos North/Bassa Federal Constituency by-election held in February, describing the victory as a sign of what will happen in 2023.

“By God’s power, PDP will take over Government House, Jos, but we must make sacrifices and work as team to reclaim power,” he advised.

Plateau PDP chairman Chris Hassan commended Wike for the role he played in resolving the crises that rocked the state in the recent past.

Hassan said that Plateau delegates were ready and would support his ambitions and dream to transform Nigeria for the better.

“You were here few months ago with a message of reconciliation and you gave us your best.

“Today, you are here seeking the support of Plateau to lead Nigeria. I can assure you that what we give you as people of Plateau is endorsement,” he said.

Sen. Istifanus Gyang (Plateau North/PDP), lauded Wike for his achievements as Rivers governor.

“If leadership is about courage, you have shown it; and If leadership is about development, you have demonstrated it well,” he added.

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Politics

2023: PDP further extends sale of nomination forms


The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has further adjusted its timetable and schedule of activities for the 2023 general elections.

The PDP announced the adjustments in a statement by its National Publicity Secretary, Mr Debo Ologunagba, in Abuja on Friday night.

Ologunagba said that the new closing date for the purchase of forms has been extended to Tuesday, April 19, while the last day for the submission of completed forms has been extended to Wednesday, April 20.

Ologunagba said that the party adjusted the timetable to make up for the two days public holiday for Easter celebrations as announced by the Federal Government.

According to him, the PDP under the new timetable has extended the last day for the purchase of forms to Tuesday, April 19, while the new date for the submission of completed forms would now be Wednesday, April 20.

Ologunagba also said that the party has equally fixed Friday, April 22 for the screening of aspirants vying for Houses of Assembly seats.

He said that Monday, April 25 has been fixed for the screening those contesting National Assembly seats while Tuesday, April 26 for governorship seats and Wednesday, April 27, 2022 for presidential aspirants.

He noted that the screening appeals for Houses of Assembly had been rescheduled for Monday, April 25; National Assembly for Wednesday, April 27; governorship for Friday, April 29, and presidential, Saturday, April 30.

“All other dates as earlier published remain unchanged,“ he said”

He reminded contestants for Houses of Assembly seats to submit their completed forms at the party state secretariats.

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News

Osinachi’s death: National hospital speaks on autopsy report


The National Hospital in Abuja has said only the police would release the report of the autopsy conducted on late gospel singer, Osinachi Nwachukwu.

The Chief Medical Director of National Hospital, Abuja, Dr Jeff Momoh, explained that Nigeria Police Force requested Osinachi’s post-mortem examination.

The post-mortem examination to discover what killed the Ekwueme crooner is ongoing.

However, Momoh said the hospital would not disclose the report to the public.

“The report is going to the people who made the request, it won’t be disclosed to the public at all,” Momoh told Vanguard.

Osinachi’s death has been widely linked to brutalization by her husband, Peter Nwachukwu.

Following her death, Osinachi’s family was said to have demanded that an autopsy be carried out to ascertain the cause of death.

Meanwhile, Mr Nwachukwu had absolved himself of any wrongdoing that led to his wife’s death.

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Metro

Police speaks on report that Gov Soludo’s house under attack by gunmen

The Anambra state police command has debunked reports claiming the house of the state governor, Charles Soludo, in Ekwulobia was attacked by unknown gunmen.

According to a statement released by DSP Tochukwu Ikenga, spokesperson of the state police command, the police observation point along Ekwulobia expressway came under attack in the late hours of Thursday, April 14.

Ikenga said the mobile personnel posted at the point gallantry repelled the attack but unfortunately, three of them sustained gunshot injury during the gun battle with the hoodlums.

He said following the quick deployment of operatives in the area by the command, peace has since returned in the area.

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Metro

Police recruits to write Computer-Based Test


Ekiti State indigenes who participated in the physical screening for the 2021 police recruitment will write a Computer-Based Test (CBT) on April 20.

Police spokesman in the state, ASP Sunday Abutu, stated in Ado-Ekiti on Friday that the Afe Babalola University CBT Centre at Ado Ekiti would be used for the exercise, the second phase.

Abutu advised applicants to check their recruitment status on www.policerecuitment.gov.ng using their National Identification Number (NIN) and also ensure that they printed out their examination slips.

Applicants are required to be at the venue promptly, appear in white shirts and white shorts, must be able to produce their printed examination slips and NIN and must be orderly.

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Politics

Sokoto Deputy Gov, Dan’iya declares to contest Governorship in 2023


Alhaji Manniru Dan’iya, the Sokoto state Deputy Governor, has declared his intention to contest the governorship election in 2023.

This is contained in a statement made available to journalists on Friday by his media aide, Malam Aminu Abubakar.

”With utmost humility and Allah’s will, I formally declare my intention to run for the office of Governor, Sokoto State, on the platform of our great party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). I seek your support,” Abubakar quoted the Deputy Governor as saying.

He expressed appreciation to his teeming supporters and part loyalists and assured that he will build on the achievements of Gov. Aminu Tambuwal, if elected.

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Politics

Imo Assembly expunges ex-speaker’s impeachment from legislative records


The Imo House of Assembly has expunged the impeachment of its former Speaker, Mr Collins Chiji (APC- Isiala Mbano), from its legislative records and replaced it with “resignation”.

The action was part of the resolutions of the house on Thursday.

The resolution followed a motion by Chiji appealing for a conversion of his impeachment to resignation.

He also requested that every record of the impeachment be expunged from the legislative records.

He particularly appealed to the Speaker, Mr Kennedy Ibe, to consider his request favourably in the spirit of the Easter celebration.

Supporting the motion, the Deputy Speaker, Mr Amarachi Iwuanyanwu, said that Chiji had shown remorse and maturity by his actions and dedication to his legislative duties.

He, therefore, supported that the impeachment be deleted from the assembly’s legislative records for the sake of his political career.

Also, Mr Chigozie Nwaneri (APC), representing Oru East, said that Chiji took his impeachment with equanamity and in goodfaith and had continued to support the house.

Following contributions and a unanimous vote in favour of the motion, the speaker ruled that the impeachment be expunged from the assembly’s legislative records.

He also directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs Chinelo Emeghara, to communicate the resolution to Chiji in writing.

Chiji was impeached in November 2020 for financial impropriety, parliamentary ineptitude and gross incompetence.

Meanwhile, the speaker has extended the assembly’s felicitations for the Easter celebration to the people of the state.

He prayed for peace and forgiveness among the residents in the spirit of the season.
The house later adjourned sitting to May 24.

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News

Importation of substandard goods, danger to national development – SON


The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON), says importation of substandard goods poses danger to standard of living and also affects national development negatively.

Malam Farouk Salim, made this known at a stakeholders’ meeting held on Thursday in Lagos, with the theme; “Standards Save Lives Grow Economy”.

He added that importation of substandard goods could destroy the economy of any country.

According to him, the essence of the sensitisation with stakeholders is to communicate and share views on how to make businesses more efficient.

He also noted that it was unfortunate that no one was tracking importers of substandard goods.

“Stakeholders should engage in bringing in genuine quality products into the country. As substandard goods continue to come into the country, the local manufacturers and industries will be destroyed.

“In other climes, when you buy a product and sell it to the public and someone is injured or they don’t get satisfaction to the product, you will be sued and then money is lost or sometimes jail.

“In Nigeria, we have it develop to that level. We have the laws but we have not develop to the level where some gets punished,” he said.

Also, Dr Kayode Farinto, Vice President, Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), called for the rerun of SON to the ports.

According to him, the return of SON to the ports will ensure the war against substandard goods in the country is achieved.

Farinto, speaking on ‘Juxtaposing Substandard Imports, SON’s Absence at Seaport’, said that if the trend was not arrested urgently by providing solution, it could negatively affect the economy and dwindle the nation’s income.

“SON vacated the seaport few years ago and was doing its regulatory role outside the port.

“But unfortunately, some nonconformist who import sub-standard goods has shown that there was need to reverse the Executive Order.

“This will ensure the country wins the war against importation of sub-standard goods in the country,” he said.

Farinto urged freight forwarders, licensed customs brokers to shun dishonesty in its declaration, concealment, inaccurate description of imports and exports and others.

He said that if all these impediments were done away with, it would enable the country achieve ease of doing business.

Also, Mr Tochukwu Ezisi, President, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), urged SON to always liase with stakeholders in their operations.

Ezisi, represented by his Chief of Staff, Rev. Emma Agunbaze, said that engagement with stakeholders was key to improving accountability within the organisation as well as external audiences.

FELLOW PRESS reports that the Federal Government in 2011 reduced the number of government agencies that were allowed to participate in cargo clearance at the seaports from 14 to 7.

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News

Lady almost flushed baby she birthed in toilet, didn’t know she was pregnant

A woman who didn’t know she was pregnant, has given birth in a hospital toilet and nearly flushed the baby down the drain.

The 23-year-old student, identified as Lalene Malik, was rushed to Northwick Park Hospital in Harrow, London, by her family after she complained of an intense stomach ache at their home in Greenford, west London, on March 26.

According to Lalene, she had been taking contraceptive pills for months because she was not planning to have a child yet, and took two pregnancy tests in February 2022 which came out negative, so she thought the stomach ache was constipation.

While waiting at the hospital, Lalene went to the toilet and her mother, Sumra, said she heard her screaming in pains while using the toilet and called the doctors.

As Lalene was about to flush the toilet, she noticed a tiny arm in the toilet bowl and raised alarm. It’s believed that the baby may have been in the toilet for seven seconds before being rescued by medics.

The medics said the baby looked lifeless and was not breathing, but thankfully, they were able to resuscitate him.

Lalene said, “I was gone. My mind was blank. I was put in another room because obviously I was crying and my mum was crying.

“It was a complete shock and a trauma for both of us and I felt that my life was in danger.

“(My mum) started crying and (said) to me: ‘Don’t you know you have a baby?’ From then on I was pale.”

The baby who has been named Mohammed Ibrahim, was born full-term and is now healthy after he was given oxygen and monitored by doctors.

An A&E registrar at the London hospital, Dr Ewa Grocholski, said she has never seen a baby born in such circumstances and it was the “most amazing experience” of her medical career.

“I’ve seen young ladies like Lalene before coming to A&E not knowing they’re pregnant and delivering in the A&E department, but it was always in a more safe place,” she added.

The new mom said her son is a “miracle baby” but accused her family doctor of not conducting enough tests on her to detect that she was pregnant.

“If I had known I was pregnant, I would have cherished those moments going shopping, getting stuff ready for the baby,” she said.

Lalene’s husband wasn’t in the country at the time and was in utter shock when he learnt about his son’s birth.

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Metro

Why NCAA extended operators certificate by 30 days- DG


The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says it has extended the period for the renewal of Air Operators Certificate (AOC) for airlines by 30 days to avoid disruption of flights in the industry.

The Director-General, NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, made this known to journalists while explaining various matters concerning the industry on Thursday in Lagos.

An AOC is the approval granted by NCAA to an aircraft operator to allow it to use aircraft for commercial purpose.

Nuhu said that the extension which would not be more than 30 days, was one of the measures to keep the system going.

He said that if the operator or NCAA could not complete the processes before the expiration of the AOC, the certificate would be extended.

“Extension is for the system to continue to ensure that all regulatory requirements are complied with for the renewal.

“Sometimes for some reasons, some operators are not able to meet certain requirements on time or may be on our own part.

“If we cannot complete the process, then, we say instead of disrupting the system, we give them extension for that period so that they can continue their operations.

“Before the extension completes, their renewal is given. So, we look at the situations, give them extension while we continue to work to complete the renewal process,” he explained.

The NCAA boss said that the renewal was not automatic, rather a process with steps, which should be completed.

”The most we have given, if I am not mistaken is 90 days. However, it is hardly more than 30 days. We do this thing so that the system will keep functioning,” he said.

The director-general further said that if airlines or NCAA was unable to complete the process, it would ground one or two airlines which could cause chaos in the industry.

On multiple entry, he stressed that the regulator was not responsible for negotiation of Bilateral Air Services Agreements (BASAs) as the decision was within the Ministry of Aviation.

Nuhu noted that the body made contributions and called on all to understand the true nature of negotiations.

He said: “Unfortunately, NCAA is not the one responsible for BASA negotiations to airlines. It is a policy issue and this is led by the ministry.

“NCAA makes its own contributions, but the final decision is from the ministry. So, anyone that blames NCAA for that, lacks understanding of how BASA negotiations work for Nigeria.

“Hence, every country has its own peculiarity on how they do BASA. In Nigeria, it is the ministry.”

Nuhu, however, said the deregulation of airfares was not so unfettered that the airlines could do as they pleased.

He said that the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission dealt with consumer protection while NCAA handled air transport regulation, which still handled airfares.

“All airlines at the beginning of each year are supposed to file their airfares to NCAA and most of the airlines do that.

“However, during the year, if the airfares are going to be higher than the ones filed before the NCAA, the airline is supposed to notify NCAA.

“Then, we will do our reasonableness check and if we are good with it, we tell them to go ahead if not, we will tell them no.

“It is not an unfettered deregulation that they can do as they like, there are guidelines to that in our regulations,” he explained.